Some businesses are social media geniuses.
They create clear, targeted campaigns with a creative twist to them that engage consumers and make a success out of the brand.
Some struggle to keep their head above water – and lets not forget the twitter disasters that have come from the likes of disgruntled employees at HMV.
With the introduction of Facebook’s Graph Search, the net for businesses being hot on their social media just got wider. And deeper.
Think about the whole offline shopping experience. Imagine I want a new pair of shoes but I’m fussy, and I won’t just shop anywhere. I’m unsure which shop to visit, so I phone my friend with exquisite taste in shoes and ask her advice on where to shop. As this advice comes from someone I trust in regards to shoes, and someone that understands my style and budget, whatever she recommends I’m going to be pretty sold on.
What Graph Search has done is take this whole scenario and put it on-line.
Before Graph Search, I may have headed online and, instead of wasting my time reading online reviews from people I don’t trust, gone straight to Facebook to ask in my status if anyone knows a good shoe shop.
But my friends could be busy and maybe no one will respond. With the introduction of Graph Search I can instantly search for ‘shoe shops my friends like’. I’m then free to shop from these brands, knowing they have been ‘recommended by a friend’.
The brand, through doing very little, has been recommended by someone and gained a new customer. But the little they have done is key to businesses making a success of graph search going forwards.
Brands need to be on top of their social media – getting as many likes as they can. If no one likes you then no one recommends you. Brands need to start thinking about likes on Facebook being a recommendation or a vote for them that is worth its weight in gold.
Perhaps consumers need to have a little think too – ‘liking’ a brand will now mean more than it used to. At the moment you might ‘like’ McDonald’s – they’ve seen you through some Saturday morning hangovers and you’re willing to show your gratitude by clicking that like ‘like’ button on their facebook page.
But by liking them you are now recommending to all your friends that they should eat in McDonalds. You might as well walk around wearing a massive sign over your head that says ‘Eat at McDonalds! I agree with every advertisement or opinion they’ve ever had! Its super good stuff!’.
You will (to all your friends) publicly become an online advocate for McDonalds and all they stand for. Gone are the days when you could secretly enjoy a Big Mac in the comfort of your own shame.
Will people be careful about what they like? No.
Will you trust the random clicking on like buttons of a guy you went to school with ten years ago and haven’t spoken to since? I should hope not.
But you might.
Facebook will probably introduce paid search ads at some point, but for the moment they are sticking with a push to encourage businesses to make better and more engaging pages.
So in-house social media people might notice an emphasis being pushed onto their work, and agencies offering social need to get themselves sh*t hot.
Facebook is the new everything.